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Nervous about your exams this month? Expert reveals tips to make revision easier


Nervous about your exams this month? Expert reveals tips to make revision easier

Nervous about your exams this month? Expert reveals tips to make revision easier

GCSE, AS level and A level exams are set to start on 15th May and run up until the end of June, meaning many students across the UK will now be in the throes of revision.

Mads Soegaard, Founder at Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) has revealed a hack that will help boost memory just in time for exams – and almost anyone can do it.

Instead of typing up tons of notes and hoping that you will take in the vital information when studying, it’s much more effective to write notes by hand using different coloured pens to increase your chances of remembering them when you head into your exam.

Mads Soegaard explains:

“There’s a common misconception that taking down as much information as you can when revising is the best way to learn, and so many students opt for typing up their notes to write more with less effort and save some time. However, it’s much more effective to write down key points by hand using coloured pens, highlighters and sticky notes, as colour works to boost our memory.

“Writing notes by hand stimulates retention as you’re forcing your brain to process the information in a more detailed way than typing. It also forces you to be more selective about what you’re writing down – it’s about choosing quality over quantity.”

According to a psychological study, writing in colour can help us improve memory performance by up to 80%, because 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Mads notes:

“Using coloured pens when writing keynotes allows us to see words as visual information rather than a block of text, which means we’re more likely to understand what we’re reading and can take in the information much faster than we could otherwise.

“As well as boosting our memory, colour also helps to form associations between notes, as when you recall a fact linked to one shade, your brain will naturally start thinking of the other facts that share the same shade.

“You can also use this association to your advantage when it comes to actually sitting your exam. By bringing something that’s the same colour as your notes into the exam with you – such as a bracelet or pen – you’ll trigger your brain to remember facts in the same shade.”

Other tips IDF have shared include:

1. Using diagrams to link information. A wall of text can be offputting so instead break information down into a more digestible format such as a spider gram, flowchart or table.

2. Making sure your room is well-lit and is free from visual distractions such as a TV and your phone.

3. Taking a break every half hour. Extended revision sessions can actually be counterproductive. You lose 85% of your input after reading for 25 minutes as it’s visually repetitive, so it’s essential to take frequent breaks to recharge and reset.

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